Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Seoul 11.12 - Cheong Wa Dae tour (part 1)

 I had signed up for a tour of Cheong Wa Dae prior to arriving in Seoul. The complete available tour schedule is on its web site, which is filled with great information and is easy to navigate, so if you're going to visit Seoul and are interested in visiting Cheong Wa Dae, you need to make sure you sign up for a tour in advance. (And spots fill up fast!)

Anyhow, John and I was so excited about our tour but when we tried to locate the gathering spot (at the "East Gate Parking Lot",) we got lost. Long story short, we eventually found the gathering spot for our tour, and it was way past our scheduled meeting time.

This was what we were looking for - "Cheong Wa Dae Tour" information booth and gathering place.

The lady at the counter of the Tour information center almost freaked out when she saw that we missed our appointment time. She then asked a guy in suit (secret service?) a bunch of questions, and long story short, we were given our visitor badges and guided onto a bus!

We picked a couple seats at the front of the bus and waited.

The secret service men.(?)

Some parents and kids coming onto the bus.

We were ready to go!

After a short bus ride we arrived at the outside gate of Cheong Wa Dae. Apparently John and I were the only foreigners on this tour. We were each given a gift!

Gift from Cheong Wa Dae.

It was a set of two beautiful mugs (each)! This was taken back at the hotel.

We were then guided toward another area.

Before everyone was allowed into the buildings we went through the security.

This was a hand of one of the guards who checked to make sure my camera was really a camera!

After security John and I were given our "tour guide" of Cheong Wa Dae. Very helpful.

We were then ready for a welcome presentation!

Oh! May I also say, at this point I noticed the secret service guys were all very tall and good-looking. (!)

During the presentation.

And then we were all prepped and ready for the actual tour!